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April 25, 1969

B.A. Solomatin, 'Concerning Korean-Chinese Relations'

This document was made possible with support from Kyungnam University

Top Secret

[CSPU CC stamp:

15-D/6     13726

25 APRIL 1969

[KGB letterhead]

25 April 1969          [to the] CPSU CC

Nº 958-z



The main substance of a note about Korean-Chinese relations prepared by the MNR MFA for the MNRP CC in March of this year is reported.


The Mongolian friends familiarized the KGB representative in Ulan-Bator with this note in strict confidence.


ATTACHMENT: three sheets




[signature]  N. ZAKHAROV


[There is a stamp at the end of the first page stating that “the material is informative and the CPSU CC Department has been familiarized with [it]. Katerinich; 15D/6 30 April 1969. There is also a reference to the archives and some illegible handwritten signatures].


Top Secret



Concerning Korean-Chinese relations


No improvement took place in relations between the Korean Worker’s Party and the CPC in 1968. The KWP CC and the DPRK government, recognizing the danger of the adventurist policy of the MAO ZEDONG group, have opposed the ideas of great-power chauvinism being spread in the PRC, criticized the “Cultural Revolution”, and made several steps in directing a move away from China.


When delivering an invitation to the Chinese side to send a government delegation to take part in the ceremonies on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the DPRK, the DPRK chargé in Peking requested that this delegation not make attacks on fraternal socialist countries in its statements. The Chinese side refused to send a delegation to the DPRK, referring to “the Koreans establishing restrictions on statements of the delegation beforehand” and that “the Chinese delegation is being invited at the same time as a delegation of the Soviet revisionists”.


The geographical position of the DPRK and the current international situation does not allow the KWP to undertake vigorous steps to finally distance itself from China.


The Koreans are striving not to worsen economic relations with China. In conversations with representatives of the fraternal countries the DPRK leaders express their disagreement with the mistaken policy of the Chinese leaders but do not speak of this publicly.


In 1968 the Chinese leaders committed provocative actions against the DPRK. The Red Guard press published anti-Korean articles. For example, in April of last year an article was published in one of the Red Guards newspapers, “Korea makes daily attacks on the ideas of MAO ZEDONG and on China”, in which the Korean leaders were called “revisionists”. A Guangzhou newspaper wrote, “North Korea is not conducting a struggle against revisionism, it is creating the appearance of observing neutrality. This is explained by the stupidity of its leaders”.


The works of famous Korean writers translated into Chinese were burned in China as “ideologically unbalanced”.


Striving to impose the “Cultural Revolution” on Korea , the group of MAO ZEDONG has repeatedly tried to distribute propaganda leaflets through Chinese citizens who have permanent residence in Korea, and to organize demonstrations in support of the “Cultural Revolution”.


The Chinese have set up loudspeakers on the border with Korea and make slanderous transmissions through them to the DPRK.


At the Dandong rail station bordering Korea the Chinese are organizing amateur concerts for passengers on international railroad trips whose participants, dressed in Korean national costume, sing toasts in honor of MAO ZEDONG and bow to his portrait.


Hour-long radio broadcasts to the DPRK in Korean are made from Peking six times a day. (However, the Chinese do not make direct attacks on the DPRK in these broadcasts).


in conversations with diplomats of the fraternal countries the Koreans express extreme resentment at the actions of the MAO ZEDONG group and point out that these actions cause great harm to the friendship between both countries.


The Korean authorities have taken a number of measures against the Chinese propaganda. In particular, instructions have been given to the Korean population through Party and public organizations not to listen to the Peking radio broadcasts. Domestic radio relay lines have been laid to institutions and residential buildings. Korean industry produces radio receivers designed to receive only DPRK radio broadcasts. As a result the Korean population has almost stopped listening to the Chinese radio broadcasts.


At the same time the Korean side has cut off attempts by the Chinese Embassy in Pyongyang to organize demonstrations of local Chinese citizens at the Soviet Embassy building. Reinforced military patrols have been active in areas adjacent to the Soviet Embassy in the DPRK. Policemen stand guard around the Chinese Embassy photo showcase in Pyongyang in order to prevent Koreans from seeing it.


All Korean-Chinese cultural cooperation ceased after the October (1966) KWP conference at which the Cultural Revolution in China was criticized and the inadvisability of cultural exchange with the PRC was pointed out.


Such phrases as “the ideas of great power chauvinism”, “contemporary leftist opportunism”, and “leftist adventurism” are often used in reports and statements of senior DPRK leaders. The meaning of these phrases is criticism of the mistaken policy of the Chinese leaders.


The substance of the Korean policy with respect to China was expressed by KIM IL SUNG in a conversation with HAGER, a member of the SED CC Politburo who headed a GDR Party-government delegation which visited the DPRK last year: “What separates us from China is increasingly growing. We do not wish to find ourselves in a dangerous position [by] following them. However, we will try not to enter into a big argument with China. We will strive to preserve good-neighborly relations with them”.






The document describes several provocations between the DPRK and China in 1968. Kim Il-sung describes it as increasing separation, but will attempt to maintain good relations.

Document Information


RGANI, fond 5, opis 61, delo 466, listy 96-99. Contributed by Sergey Radchenko and translated by Gary Goldberg.


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Kyungnam University and Institute for Korean Studies, Ohio State University